Police desecrated graves — Sinn Féin

(Seamus McKinney, Irish News)

The head of police in Strabane has asked the Co Tyrone town
council's Sinn Féin chairman to meet him to discuss the desecration
of graves of three IRA members.

The request was made after Jarlath McNulty accused police of
destroying wreaths and flowers on the graves of the men, who were
shot dead by British soldiers 20 years ago.

On Sunday, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams led an event to
commemorate the killing of brothers Michael and David Devine and
fellow Strabane man Charlie Breslin.

Mr McNulty said: "A large number of wreaths on the graves of
three volunteers were broken and scattered over a wide area. The
vandalism was discovered this morning (Monday) and local people are
convinced that it was carried out by members of the PSNI who were
seen in the graveyard last night."

He said while the wreaths and flowers could be replaced, the
desecration compounded the suffering of the Breslin and Devine

Responding to the allegation, Superintendent Raymond Murray said
the desecration of any grave was despicable and should be condemned
in the strongest possible terms.

"It is important that the allegation is thoroughly investigated
to ensure that any wrong-doers are identified and to ensure that any
unfounded allegations against the police are dismissed," he said.

Mr Murray said he would welcome an opportunity to meet Mr McNulty
to discuss the matter and urged anyone with information to contact
police in Strabane or the Police Ombudsman's office.

February 23, 2005

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